We survived the last weekend of September!! Bruce finished talking at the International Micro Finance Conference we attended and we headed out the door - gifts in hand! A great belt for Bruce (which fit!) and a pashmina shawl for me (which fits!)
We were able to grab a cab and head for the airport - the timing was perfect! We arrived, got our tickets quickly (in spite of long lines), got thru security, and to our gate just in time to get on the plane! No waiting!
When we arrived in Qingdao, we walked off the plane, thru security, to a waiting taxi, without a wait! She must have known we would be arriving late to a meeting and wanted to get us there in time! A 45 minute ride took under 30 minutes! Yet, it felt unhurried! Bruce was only about 20 minutes late.
That night we dropped, exhausted, into bed!
The next morning after a breakfast of egg omelet, fresh fruits of all kinds, fresh juice, croissants, we rolled back to our room.
At 8am we were to meet a member of the District Presidency who was also staying at the same hotel, and head back to the home where the church meetings were held. He didn't show up, so after a 15 minute wait, we decided he must have already left (he didn't answer his cell when Bruce called him either). So we grabbed a taxi and headed out, only to get a block away when Pres Bayles called - he was at the hotel looking for us!! So we had the taxi circle the block and go back to get him! lol We arrived in plenty of time for church and all the meetings and interviews before hand that Bruce was to participate in. Bruce spoke twice during the main church meeting on Sunday.
During the final speaker, the District President, we had to skip out to get to the airport to fly back to Beijing. We got a taxi immediately!! WOW!!! We were at the airport, walking thru everything, got to the right gate and boarding was to start in 10 minutes!!
Five minutes later HELL broke loose, and we rushed with a bunch of angry people and ended up in the middle of a protest - with a lot of raised voices and fists, bellowing and waving of angry arms!
The airlines people locked the doors we were to go thru to get on the bus shuttle out to the airplane! The protesters were in the face of the airport employees who take the tickets, screaming and waving their fists!
Security was called - it didn't help. Police were called - nothing got quiet!
We were sent down to the next gate to get on the shuttle (the gate where the protesters had come from), we no more than got to THAT gate and the protesters came on the run! Same thing happened as at the other gate.
Then we were sent BACK to the first gate! The protesters followed.
By now the boarding time of 12:50 had long passed!
BTW, we never really felt ourselves in any danger or threatened personally.
There's a funny story in with all of that! That include a Chinese lady about 40 years old who use to work at the Australian embassy and also a little old Chinese lady that was shoulder high to me and had a rollaround heavier than her generously plump self!! lol I'll write about it in another day or so.
We arrived back in Beijing and walked out of the airport right into a waiting taxi! Oh the benefits of not having checked any luggage!! Bruce had me ride shotgun to tell the taxi driver where we lived and get us home. The driver was great!
As we cleared the airport area, Bruce called Middy at the university to let him know that we were back and would be home about 4pm.
Middy showed up at 4pm to take us to The Great Hall of the People (the Chinese White House). It involved a taxi ride then the subway, after which we had to hoof it. Hot, sweaty, and tired we arrived at last! Security was tighter than the last time we were there! It was like going thru airport security!
Here's a link to the event: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90785/6769757.html
That room seats 5,000! We were at table 142 - we had good seats! The food was great! We were told not to bring our cameras nor anything with us. So we didn't - much to our regret later. Others had cameras - next time, we decided we wouldn't listen to Middy - when we return to the Great Hall of the People we WILL take cameras! lol
We'll, I've bent your ears/eyes enough for now.
It was good to be back in class the 28th of September!!
Tags: Qingdao China Flying Airport Protester